When I am teaching my clients about business process, we always come to the part where I get them to evaluate where they are spending their time. We are looking for the things they do over-and-over again for clients and then I get them to create a procedure outlining the steps of this process. Each time I do this I get the same response from just about everyone in the room…
Writing procedures is not easy for many and not fun for most, but it is a key to great business if you are thinking of growing your company. So to help you with this, I would like to give you my top three points on making this task easier in your business.
1. Do It
The best time to write a procedure is while you are going through a process. Take note of everything you do, including the directories you save files to, naming conventions, phone numbers, people’s names, times of day, etc. Whatever you may think as obvious may not be to the next person that tries to follow your instructions.
2. Record It
If you hate writing the steps then I always suggest recording what you are doing when you are doing it. Get yourself a small recording device that will create a standard file type (like mp3). You can then have it transcribed. Use the transcription to create the step-by-step procedure.
3. Offload It
Teach someone else how to do it and then get them to write the procedure so they can teach others. If any process in your business is only known by one person then your company cannot survive growing pains when that one person cannot perform that task. I have had clients with this challenge and it was devastating to their work and time management to try and do their own work and guess at someone else’s work responsibilities.
Bonus – Test It
If you want to know whether the procedure is written well then the best thing you can do is give it to someone else to try and perform. Ask someone with general knowledge about your business, but without specific knowledge of the task, to go through the procedure and see if they can replicate the quality of the outcome to a fairly high degree. I’m not suggesting that this procedure should replace training, but it should be a great guide for someone in your company to perform a new task if the need is required.